tv [untitled] August 4, 2011 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT
previous element you could see areas that were maybe higher in need and it was sort of a yes or no and what you see here is you see where we circled which are the darkest areas that are the highest need areas. and just kind of various shapes of lighter and darker colors. and that kind of shows there is definitely a different need throughout the city. it is not that only in the downtown is there a need. that is where the priority areas and the priority renovation and acquisition dollars are focused and that's not some need throughout the city and other areas as well. and with this is kind of one of the key maps to how we will focus and are working closely with rec park and they are updating their acquisition policy and using the information as part of the acquisition policy. so this is to improve and this is kind of one of the new components of this is really thinking about how do we connect
people, how do we use the street network and green the street network to find a logical path between open spaces and to connect opens spaces. and thinking about some new trails and improving the existing trail networkses that are out there. and rec park submitted a grant proposal for this proposed crosstown trail that i talk about here and is a blurry line, but they submitted a grant to develop that into something else and one of the benefits is to have this be around and other things are starting to happen and that we are working on the green connector's grant to and
thinking about restoring and the happen at the wetlands and education and awareness and add on to all and expand and build upon our system not only with natural layers and which is a specific program and speaking about the city and nature throughout the city and not just the designated natural areas. and it focuses on engaging the community and we've heard a lot from community and a lot from all the agencies that have open space about the need to really have a sustaining community support system for our park and how important that is to maintain a park or open space and have a community steward. and this objective focuses on helping and giving tools to improve those working
relationships and reducing barriers the government has to improve that relationship. and this is not the objective we have in other elements and the open space task force was part of that and the group that wanted to focus on finance and there is a lot of thought about how to maintain the open spaces and a lot of times we go to communities and they say i don't want anymore facilities but to maintain what we have. this has been a lot of people ask and it sounds different, and why are you including all this stuff in an element and we sort of had a big outcry that this was key to maintaining our system. and there is a couple of different elements in there and a citywide impact key and we talked about that briefly last time. and i think that we wrote that
policy in 2009 and i didn't receive a single comment until we came to the commission in june and there is a lot more talk about what this means and what i am proposing is we work this through with a couple of groups to flesh out more criteria to what this could mean and so there is a lot of new information coming out and information that will refine this in mixed use language and is up to date and really responds to the current climate. this is in response to a couple of questions that you had last time and so first it was commissioner moore who asked about the healthy development tool and how it might work with the public department staff. and megan is here.
and previously we were working with jennifer mclaughlin and is working closely throughout the process to make sure that everything is coordinated and so to make sure that all the information and their work mixes with our work and we will be talking over the next few weeks to make sure that that work is done in synergy. and the next issue is the shadowing and there's a policy in the roads that basically the same as it was in the previous and is a direct quote of section 295 in the planning code. and there is a working group or shadow task force appointed by the mayor and the board of supervisors task force and are working on changes from 1995 and
the procedures for the potential shad dose and nothing in the road that proposes any changes in the existing code to make sure that is clear to be done through the shadow working group. and finally, i just wanted to sort of respond to commissioner sugaya last time who asked about the open space fund and a little bit about the history and where and what the story is with that and i wanted to see if rec park and our partner could give a couple sentences on what the story is with the fund. >> hello. karen with the rec park planning division and it is a great story and the open space up iffed and briefly give you a little bit of an overyou and in 1975 the open space acquisition and with the portion of the annual tax
revenue and 2.5 cents of each $100 in assessed valuation and i always have to repeat that, set aside there and approved pop situation c that extended and is updated and by the strategic and operational plan and the open space fund requires that not less than 5% of the monies are dedicated to the acquisition of real property and 3% allocation for reserve which is used and called a contingency fund is what we usually refer to that as. and also that other portions have to be set aside and use d n
a dedicated way and with the natural area and management programs and should be funded according to the ballot measure unless the programs are funded elsewhere. and i can give you more detail about that if you like and the area of funding and new park acquisitions and creations and i wanted to mention that since 1975 and with the interagency jurl transfer, which are sometimes free trooe, which is great, to have parkland at 63 different sites and it is not just presidio and we have been hard at work acquiring other park lands throughout the city
and over 52 acres and $9 million was spent to acquire undeveloped open spaces as they are generally natural area typesetings and 41 acres and over properties and this year the acquisition fund portion of the open space fund is $1.8 million and we have a fund balance of $9 million we are using to review and acquire appropriate properties over time. and recently i can go over a couple of things that were acquired through acquisition and the tenderloin rec center in the tenderloin, and a park in the
mission that was a little over $1 million. and also the maps that were reviewed and also about capital investment and re-investment in the property. the richmond rec center received funding and the clubhouse and support the square clubhouse and a pool and the bayview neighborhood. and joe lee rec center and these are funded through the funding sources and i can answer any questions you might have later. president olague: thank you.
the series of the hearings started initially a year ago and with the advisory committee and with the outline of what we proposed to change for october 20. let me know if you have any questions at this time. thanks. president olague: thank you. i would like to open for public comment. arthur feinstein followed by -- that's it. arthur feinstein and meredith thomas are the two cards i have. >> arthur feinstein, chair of
the san francisco chapter of the sierra club and happen foi talk to you again about this very important general plan element. and just recently remet with eline and had a cordial and productive meeting and we are somewhat encouraged and maybe even more than that that we will be able to work through this and i am hopeful we will get closer to a meeting of the minds and i want to talk about a couple of issues i didn't talk about last time and one of them sue brought up today in terms of the proposals and this is section 172, policy 172, proposal to prenew recreation, cultural buildings and point three and
that is charter, so if we didn't follow, that we'd have real problems. and the problematic areas of site and why wouldn't we put a library on an open space and why would you put a library on open space? if you want ancillary businesses and structures, they should be zoned on the streets next to it like at golden gate park or lincoln and 10th with the bikes and stuff out on the street, not in the park. same thing at buena vista and similar kinds of bike rentals and you don't have to put them in the park if you zone. and this should have talked about planning the whole area, not just the park. so that you don't use valuable, invaluable, and we don't have any open space to lose, to buildings that could be used elsewhere. and so that's one issue. and then the other is they do
say that they're going to allow a building there, but if so, there can't be any loss of open space, but it can be mitigated by programming. and i don't know how a program, no matter how good it is, replaces the actual loss of acreage of open space. streetscape, it is nice to have flower pots, but does that really replace the loss of acreage in a park when we have so little space? green connectors, that is great with paths, but it doesn't replace an open space where you get that open feel iing that commissioner borden was just talking about earlier downtown. you need that open space of green corridor, a flower pot doesn't do it. and that is one of the examples of things we want to work with sue over and hopefully we can work towards a real mitigation.
president olague: thank you. >> thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. meredith thomas, executive director of the neighborhood parks council. first a little bit of background that m.p.c. was working closely with the mayor's office and also the planning department and the recreation and park department to convene the update of the r.o.e. through 2008 and 2009. and we believe that there was robust public dialogue and we have extensive materials that resulted from those conversations. and we're largely satisfied with the document that's before you. we think that now two years have passed and the economy has changed and we have new census data and we have different leadership at the rec and parks department that's shown us different ways thing cans be interpreted or used and we think it's time to go back and tune up the existing draft document, but
we're confident that this is going to get there and be a good and visionary guidance tool for san francisco's open space future. i want to say where the rubber hits the road for us would be at the neighborhood level action plans and we feel like while this is a city wide guidance document and it contains good concepts, it's not going to be implemented in the same way in every neighborhood. and what m.p.c. is really concerned with is ensuring that the city has the right framework and the general plan for open space but that also we don't treat open space with one size fits all approaches and that we have a sense of what the neighborhood's relationship is to their parks and open space and what their needs are for recreation and for passive recreation and for connectivity and there are large parcels in the southeast that you can't get to because there is a freeway blocking you and this document will become more meaningful under the advent of an action plan for each neighborhood and the department has initiates an
implementation program, but it's hard for the city alone to say what the neighborhoods need and we need independent advocacy to insure that open space and progressing with the connectivity and the greening and the planning doesn't get lost. and arthur raises good points that we need close collaboration among all kinds of stake holders, recreation, natural areas, accessibility, and working together to have the implementation of the document formed into appropriate projects and neighbors know what they want for the parks and open space and this document takes us back to what is the longer term vision. this really does need to stand over time. we're going to work with sue until october to clarify the policies that might be unclear and fine tune them based on the performance of park and open space planning and the economy over the last couple of years
and we're in a different world than we were in 2008 with some of the revenue stuff and the open space task force was concerned with long-term sustainable financing for the department and there isn't a need to constantly run around and look for the money to make itself whole and do more to describe the grounding and the basis for the decisions and that this is not an attempt to be reaction a reactionary but to position the department for long-term success. president olague: any additional public comment? you can just come up at this time. >> good afternoon, commissioners. we have reviewed the 2011 draft roe and has many concerns and one is that it does not comply
with the state of california guidelines for an open space element. the open space element should be about the conservation and preservation of open space land but this portrays open space primarily as a tool for recreation without valuing unimproved land for the spectrum of other roles it plays to the good of the public. and they are concerned that the draft row is not consistent with the urban design element. and the rose draft implementation problem and except policy 1.7, the policy to preserve existing open space by restricting conversion to other uses and limiting encroachment. and there is also no implementation plan to preserve existing open space in the measures for future consideration.
finally t rose, interestingly after the presentation you had, does not mention the open space fund, which is the only dedicated source of funding for efficient and open space. these are just a few concerns and we look forward to working with planning staff to address these problems. thank you. and i'll submit this letter. >> hi, good afternoon, commissioners. i am chris schafer and i actually what is very interesting is i am speaking after a speaker that said that the rose element had too much recreation and not enough open space. i am here to talk about the fact that i don't believe it has enough recreation. i think by definition what recreation means is more broad
than what is stated in the rose development. and because recreation includes fields, tennis courts, basketball hoops, and other kinds of recreation that require programming. and those i don't see being preserved and i don't see them being preserved also with regard to an interface with other parts of what should be in the city's general plan and that is the preservation of recreation facilities. so recreation facilities that could have been protected are not being necessarily paid attention to in your code. and i will give you two specific examples and areas that have been rezoned. and one is in western selma where there is a significant facility that has 24 tennis courts inside and outside and there is really not an effort made in the planning unless and until private people got involved and another area that is currently being rezoned is
jap japantown and they significantly lost the bowling alley and what i am saying is that while you are taking a look at open space with regard to open space for recreation, and they would like to also see is where and how and remember i'm a citizen and i am an amateur at this, but where and how are significant recreational facilities themselves being preserved. where we know, in fact, that the city does not have enough money to keep its course and that stock has shrunk and to keep the swimming pool and that stock has shrunk and you count on others with private fail fails and i would like to see that element protected. thank you very much. olague thank you. president olague: thank you. >> commissioners, my name is sue
hagan and i guess i have to say i want to endorse what chris was just saying about private recreation facilities. there are a couple of other things. we just hope that the rose program does include as part of the final draft. one is that while recreation is important in terms of things like a cornerstone of where we work with and play and san francisco has a mechanism to protect commercial interest and to add and to protect housing units but there really is no planning code for protection of recreati
recreation facilities as well as open space and hopefully that will be addressed. the other issue that it's time to address and not overlook is the matter of equitably distributing recreation, such as what about seniors and low income residents. so there should be some kind of addressing of is there going to be a mechanism put in place to make sure that those areas get taken care of. it's part of this overall, much larger picture. chris was mentioning the japantown bowling alley, and the other issue is swimming poolses in the city and also tennis
courts where if you look at the study from 2006 and there were 156 tennis courts. and now there are 124 and that's mostly because of demand and lack of founding. i heard this one lady say that funding sources are being identified. and i would hold that the funding sources are identified for maintenance and even where you have them and rendered them unusable regardless of the facility. one other last comment, there is an attempt to redo courts with private funding at one park, but they couldn't do it. and so there has to be some -- and once again going to funding solid sources and the foundation of funding.
[bell ringing] >> overall the program is great. >> thank you very much. president olague: thank you. >> sue hester. i want to follow up on comments made by other speaker. first of all f the city is planning on having outreach and working with groups in the first weeks of september, that is kind of dysfunctional. many community organizations, just like this planning commission, go on vacation and the board of supervisors goes on vacation, and so if their current proposal is to do a quick outreach program when no one is there, it's not going to work. and second thing is like chris schafer said, recreation facilities are not all owned and managed by rec park.
we have boys and girls clubs. we have ymca's, we have tennis clubs, we have a lot of recreation facilities. some of them are nonprofit, some of them are for profit, that provide a real resource in the city and some of those have been telling staff that you really need to step back and have policies that deal with those facilitieses. we deal with housing and housing is all privately owned and why can't we put something more than rec park, something substantive. and you need to have guidance in this element on how you evaluate projects that affect recreation and sometimes open space that is on private property that is not on city property and i don't think you have that. and i ask you to go back and read this and i will read it as well. and say that the controversy
that bubbled up over the past five, six years that most of you have been on the commission, and what tools does this give you to evaluate them? i don't think -- i think it is lacking. it's okay to avoid, it's human nature to avoid hot issues, but you need guidance and this is supposed to be a guidance document. i was involved when the downtown plan put its standards in place and everything is about absolutely and some of it is about maintenance and i think what a planning department and the planning code put in place and provisions for open space, recreati recreation, and in area plan, you need to look back and say, does this code section and limitation in the code section make sense at this point? particularly the downtown plan.
because i don't think things are perfect. the planning code has language that's in some cases 35 years old. and we should look to see whether it meets the standards for 2011 to 2016. thank you. president olague: is there any additional public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioner moore. commissioner moore: i am really happy to see so much response of planning having gone in what we last time all said and had a whole bunch of holes and personally want to express my appreciation for you working with the community and listening to what we had to say and estimate a big step forward. and i think the dialogue with the perspective and you already answered quite a bit of them. and restating the priorities and i do believe t